Tips and Tricks
The Perfect Spring Cleanup Tips for your Lawn
Spring is here in Calgary and it is time to start thinking about lawn care. There are many things you can do to have your lawn looking the best. Here is exactly what you need to do (from first to last) to perform the perfect spring clean up for your lawn in Calgary.
- Clean up – The first step is to blow out your flowerbeds and anywhere winter debris has gathered with a backpack blower.
- Trim and mow your lawn. Do this if your lawn is over grown, or you are doing your spring clean up late in the season (end of May). Your lawn mower will pick up the debris and leaves from the previous step.
- Aerate. For this you will need to rent an aerator from a local rental shop (i.e. Home Depot or Rogers Rent-all). Keep in mind that renting equipment may cost nearly the same amount as hiring a professional to do the work for you. Be sure to get a core aerator as this will remove full cores from your lawn. Spike aerators (i.e. spike shoes) do not work effectively, as the purpose of aerating is to take out ground, so the soil can loosen up. Go over the entire lawn with the aerator once, twice if soil is really compacted. Spring and fall are the two best times for lawn aeration in an area with cool season grasses, such as Calgary.
- Power rake. To remove thatch that has built up, you will want to power rake. This equipment can be rented from Home Depot or Rogers Rent-all. You will want to de-thatch if the thatch layer is over ½” thick. Run over the entire lawn removing thatch. The reason that dethatching after aerating is preferable, is that the power rake breaks up the large cores left by the aeration process. Power raking in Calgary is best done only in the spring.
- Hand rake. After power raking you will be left with a mountain of dead thatch all over your lawn. Use a good quality lawn rake, rake it up, and remove it.
- Mow. After you rake up the dead thatch you will still have a messy lawn. You can use your mower, provided you have a bag and go over the entire lawn again, a high lift blade will help as well.
- Overseed. Now is an ideal time to add seed to your lawn. Go to your local garden center (i.e. Sunnyside or Spruce it up in Calgary) Get some grass seeds that they suggest. You can hand broadcast the seeds over bare spots as well as using fertilizer spreader to apply seeds to the entire lawn. You can also add a good quality top soil to areas that are bare.
- Fertilize. Again, go to your local garden center and get some slow release spring lawn fertilizer that is higher in nitrogen. Use your spreader again to apply fertilizer to entire lawn. Be careful to have your fertilizer spreader carefully calibrated to the suggested application rates.
- Water. Now its time to water the lawn. Don’t water an excessive amount, but you need enough water to allow the seeds to germinate, and help the fertilizer begin to release its nutrients.
That’s it. You’re done! Give you lawn a of couple weeks and it will be one of the greenest and healthiest around. Now you just need to continue to monitor your lawn for weed control and fertilizer needs. As you know, here in Calgary weeds such as dandelions, clover and thistle are very common, and if left unchecked, they will start to compete with your lawn. Implement a weed control and fertilizer program to ensure weeds do not get out of control, and your lawn is receiving the proper nutrients for the proper time of year.